Passage through Antiquity A Voyage of Discovery - Israel
© Nova Fisher


We visited Jaffa, the ancient port city from which Tel Aviv developed. Famous for its association with the biblical stories of Jonah, Solomon, St Peter and Andromeda, it has a fascinating history stretching back over four thousand years. In Greek mythology, Princess Andromeda, the daughter of Jaffa’s King was chained to the rock as a sacrifice to a sea monster, but was rescued by the monster-slayer Perseus, who then married her. Andromeda’s Rock, is where it is said that Jonah boarded the ship for Tarshish. (According to the bible God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell it’s inhabitants that they had sinned. Jonah refused and boarded the ship to Tarshish .During the voyage a storm which Jonah though to be his punishment so asked to be thrown into the sea, where he was swallowed by a great fish. God forgave Jonah and the great fish spat him out. He then went to Nineveh as he had been commanded) We explored the renovated alleys and buildings and saw the Uri Gueller Museum with the bent spoon sculpture outside.
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St Peter

Apostle St Peter stayed in the house of Simon the Tanner where he received a crucial vision that changed his mind about accepting gentiles into the early Christian Church. Peter’s vision is commemorated at St Peter’s Church. We visited St Peter’s Church, which is the centre of Christianity in Jaffa. Inside the church is a wooden pulpit, not usual in a Catholic church, carved in the form of a fruiting tree. The neighbouring St Peter’s Monastery, built by the Spanish government for the Franciscan Brothers between 1888 and 1894, is where the fortress of St Louis IX, King of France had stood at the time of the 6th Crusade (c.1251). Napolean Boneparte lived here while he was at St Peter’s in 1799.
We returned to the ship for lunch and then set sail for Egypt. The sea had a big swell and we were travelling into the wind, hence, the boat rocked and rolled which made it very uncomfortable for many passengers – so not many at dinner and my birthday dinner was postponed until the following evening.